In Kansas a guardian may be appointed by the probate court for a minor, a minor with an impairment or an adult with an impairment. A guardian may be appointed for a minor whose natural or adoptive parents are deceased or who have had parental rights terminated by court proceeding. A minor with an impairment is a person under 18 years of age and whose impairment is expected to continue beyond the age of 18. An adult or minor with an impairment is someone whose ability to receive and evaluate relevant information, or to effective communicate decisions, even with the use of assistive technologies or other supports is impaired such that the person lacks to capacity to meet essential needs for physical health, safety or welfare.

A person in need of a guardian cannot meet essential needs both because of an impairment and the lack of appropriate alternatives. Appropriate alternatives include a durable power of attorney and a power of attorney for health care decisions. Meeting essential needs means making those determinations and taking those actions which are reasonably necessary in order for a person to obtain or be provided with shelter, sustenance, personal hygiene or health care, and without which serious illness or injury is likely to occur.

Any person may file in the district court a petition for the appointment of a guardian for the proposed ward. The petition may be accompanied by a medical report and evaluation or the court will order such examination and report and the court will also appoint an attorney to represent the proposed ward. At the hearing on the petition the court will appoint the guardian for the ward.

The guardian appointed by the court will have the responsibility to provide for the ward’s care, treatment, habilitation, education, support and maintenance. The court may require the guardian to develop and file with the court a plan for the care of the ward as well as file reports concerning the status of the ward and the actions of the guardian.

If you feel your loved one is in need of a guardian because they can no longer make appropriate decisions, or are susceptible to being taken advantage of in any way, or even are potentially a danger to themselves or others, contact us to discuss the implementation of a guardianship.